Bees attach comb to the sides of a top bar hive to brace the comb, holding this amazing engineering feat in place. The side walls of a top bar hive are sloped inward towards the bottom so the bees will build less comb attachment to the walls of the hive. This is the reason for the angle of the sides of the hive. If the hive were a square box the bees might attach the comb they draw out along the entire side of the hive. This would make it very difficult to harvest the honeycomb from the hive.
If your ultimate goal is to get the bees into a top bar hive from a Langstroth Nuc or Langstroth hive, you can cut the bottom and sides of each langstroth frame off and using the falseback as a guide cut through the comb to make it the same angle as the top bar hive.
There exists a subtle but big difference in top bar hive designs, so it is important to understand how air moves within the hive, what is best for the colonies health both in the winter and in the hot summer months.
There is an old saying many people have heard, you can only move a beehive “3 feet or 3 miles”. This saying implies that you can move a beehive up to 3 feet from it's original location and the bees will still find their hive but if the distance exceeds 3 miles or more, the bees figure they are not in Kansas anymore and they reorientate. ie... when the bees wake up to a new location, the landscape looks very different and their GPS is a bit off.
"Before the City" - Bees add propolis to their hive entrance to winterize and defend from robber bees.
What do Black Bees and Propolis have in common ? When early civilizations observed a bee hive they must have seen the hive as a “city” of productive inhabitants. These early observers of nature witnessed the bees using a bright, yellow and orange substance to form a protective entrance to their city. They also noticed when fall came, the bees would slowly close up their entrance, until finally in the winter, all but a few small holes, just the size of a single bee remained.
The BackYardHive Bee Doctor Intensives felt like a summer honeybee retreat and a sweet, intensive-learning holiday. We all gathered in Eldorado Springs early in the morning around 8am, before it would get too hot to work the beehives. It was a pleasant time of year with the smell of summer in the air.
Why do bees rob another hive? Robber bees will rob another hive if the hive is weak or if there are drought conditions and there is a lack of nectar sources. Normally a hive that is being robbed is a weaker hive or is low in numbers and they are not able to fully defend themselves. Normally you will only see robbing in the fall time, going into winter when bees, yellow jackets and others are all looking for that last source of food before winter sets in. Yet with the drought conditions and warmer temperatures we are now experiencing, robbing is also happening in the spring and late summer as well.
Bees bearding or clustered on the front of the hive is normal during the summer months. Bearding occurs when the hives have increased their colony size to take advantage of the nectar flows that are happening in the spring and summer.
A Nuc is a hive in miniature and can house a functioning colony of bees. Our Nuc is about half the size of our full hive. The Nuc can be a temporary home for the bees, whether you just caught a swarm or made a split from your hive. The intent of the temporary home in the nuc is to transfer the colony from the Nuc into a full hive, so that the colony has time to fully fill out a regular size hive.
The strange hive smell of sour dirty socks slowly turns to the brilliant scent of butterscotch! I have been walking by my hives in the last several weeks and smelling the peculiar scent of dirty socks or sour laundry. At first it kind of smells like bee bread, that wonderful smell of baking bread that is so familiar in the spring when bees are rearing brood.